Social media impacting how police handle road blocks

By Ian Holmes
June 29, 2018 - 5:27pm

Roadblock season has arrived in the Nanaimo areaThe Canadian Press

NANAIMO — Local police are being more creative in how they approach road blocks in the social media era.

Nanaimo RCMP Cpl. Terry Crawford told NanaimoNewsNOW motorists can expect a jump in the number of road checks for the rest of the summer all over Nanaimo. He said police are fully aware of warnings on social media alerting motorists of where roadblocks are.

“We'll be strategic about how, where and for how long we're set up and we'll try to hit as many areas as we can, even in one given night” Crawford said.

Crawford, who heads the detachment's traffic department, said social media talk of road blocks isn't all bad news, since it promotes safe driving habits.

He said their officers hand out an average of 15 to 30 roadside suspensions for impaired driving on a monthly basis. He said progress is being made in terms of compliance, citing awareness and much stricter penalties as two key reasons why.

RCMP Central Island Traffic Services Sgt. Darrin Ramey said their officers assigned to highways in the region are also more mobile, as a result of social media discussion about where their check stops are.

“After we stay in one place for a while, the traffic starts dropping down precipitously,” Ramey said. “We tend to move our check stops around a little more often than we used to.”

ICBC data reported an average of nine people are killed in impaired driving related crashes every year on Vancouver Island.

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